William Wordsworth
Adv. English 12 Poetry Study
By: Sydney Hines
A Short Biography
 Mr. William Wordsworth was born on April
7, 1770 in Cockermouth on the River
Derwent in the United Kingdom.
 He had three siblings a sister Dorothy and
two brothers John and Christopher.
 When Mr. Wordsworth was eight years old
his mother died and he and his brother
John were sent to a boarding school called
 Hawkstead was an excellent grammar
school known for teaching great basics in
mathematics, science, and English.
A Short Biography
 His father, a famous lawyer known for his
employment by the Earl of Lonsdale became
a large influence in his life.
 It has been said that if his mothers death
had impacted him he did not show it.
 His father died in 1783. No money was left
to the children as the Earl owed the family
4500 pounds at the time.
 The average yearly payment for a writer at
the time was 150 pounds.
A Short Biography
 During the summer before his last term of
college Mr. Wordsworth went on a walking
tour of Europe with a long time friend
Robert Jones.
 Mr. Jones later encouraged Mr.
Wordsworth to write poetry.
 Mr. Wordsworth attended Cambridge for
four years and graduated with average
marks in Law and Political Science.
 Mr. Wordsworth moved to France after
graduating to tutor English students.
A Short Biography
 Mr. Wordsworth became very close with the
leader of the French Revolution Captain
Michel Beaupuy. He began to support the
French in their political views.
 He also met and fell in love with Annette
Vallon. He unknowingly impregnated her.
Shortly after their affair he moved back to
England. Soon after war broke out between
England and France and he was unable to
return and visit his daughter Caroline. She
was born on December 15, 1792.
A Short Biography
 He felt that England had a closed mind
towards Liberty.
 During the war the English Government
cracked down on Supporters and many of
his close friends were arrested and
 Mr. Wordsworth began publishing
consistently in 1798 and had co-released
three volumes of poems by 1802.
 On May 24, 1802 the Earl died leaving the
Wordsworth children their father’s
A Short Biography
 Mr. Wordsworth would have five other
children. Only three of the six children
would out live him.
 In 1839 he became a Doctor of Civil Law at
 When he passed away on April 13, 1850 he
was thought to be one of the great poets. He
had met many influential people and other
fantastic poets as well.
AT the corner of Wood Street, when daylight appears,
Hangs a Thrush that sings loud, it has sung for three
years: Poor Susan has passed by the spot, and has heard
In the silence of morning the song of the Bird. Tis a note
of enchantment; what ails her? She sees A mountain
ascending, a vision of trees; Bright volumes of vapor
through Lothbury glide, And a river flows on through the
vale of Cheapside. Green pastures she views in the midst
of the dale, Down which she so often has tripped with her
pail; 10 And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove's,
The one only dwelling on earth that she loves. She looks,
and her heart is in heaven: but they fade, The mist and
the river, the hill and the shade: The stream will not flow,
and the hill will not rise, And the colors have all passed
away from her eyes!
Wordsworth’s Words
I find Mr. Wordsworth’s work to be appealing because
of the way he views a human being. He does not
believe that we are capable of living happily in a
soot filled city. In the reverie of poor Susan he
describes a poor woman and her hate of city life.
She imagines herself in a beautiful utopia away
from the hustle and bustle of life.
Instead of viewing the city she sees a clean river
washing away the shambles of Cheapside. I like the
way he thinks. He was a very well rounded man
and although for a good portion of his life he was
poor he lived his life like a wealthy man. He
developed a keen sense of writing his thoughts and
making them roll off your tongue.
A False Heart
The bag woman was sick as an old dog
As she sat on her doorstep in the fog
A reminder of her life as a girl
The countryside was green with clouds like pearls
The air was sweet and the water was blue
It smelt of livestock, grass, and damp spring dew
Memories returned as she fell asleep
A quiet adieu from a deep slumber
The woman’s neighbors knew not of her trance
They continued their dismal masquerade
My poem imitates the Reverie of Poor Susan
because of my projection of the old woman’s
thoughts of her childhood in the
countryside. I also used consistent Iambic
Pentameter as Mr. Wordsworth often does.
He did not use it in this poem. He used an
interesting rhyme scheme and many of the
last words rhymed. My imitation is
successful because it not only portrays the
anguish of the old woman but also her
neighbors in Cheapside.
Wordsworth,W.(1888). The reverie of poor Susan. New York,
NY: The complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth.
Retrieved December 11, 2005 from the World Wide Web:
Wordsworth, W.(1798). Biography and poetical works. East
Lansing, MI: The Literature Network: William Wordsworth.
Retrieved December 11, 2005 from the World Wide Web:
Wordsworth, W.(2005). Wordsworth and the romantics.
London, UK: The Wordsworth Trust. Retrieved December 11,
2005 from the World Wide Web: